Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No furbelows?

Serving a dinner party in courses again? What a wonderful idea. However, you do not want to advertise it as “frills and furbelows” since the latter, furbelows, may carry a less than appealing meaning.

Recently I saw an invitation that included the line: no furbelows.

Oh my!

As per the OED (Oxford English Dictionary): "A piece of stuff pleated and puckered on a gown or petticoat; a flounce..." Through use, it became a contemptuous term for unnecessary ornamentation, stuff and fluff.

If you advertised your formal dinner with “no furbelows” you would be in err since your formal dinner in itself, would be full of fluff and stuff: escort cards, menus, fine china, more forks than spoons (we’ll discuss this in another post in the future!), centerpieces, and on and on.

If you wanted to have a nice dinner party with no furbelows, you can abstain from the name cards. Instead, use a piece of ribbon with the guest’s name written in gold ink and tie it to the napkin. Place the napkin on the plate and there you have it! Your first exercise in no furbelows.

No need to abstain from multiple courses! After all, a multiple course dinner party is making a comeback to such a degree that caterers are bringing plating for only three courses knowing they can wash the dishes in between courses.

Try to think outside the box and to the wind, cast the idea of “no furbelows.” Add the frills and furbelows, and enjoy!

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